A New Turn in Life
A New Turn in Life
It was about 11 a.m. when I came back from the grocery store. My mom stopped me and said “Your dad called and he wants us to come back to Afghanistan”. I completely went blank and didn’t know what to say in reply. After all these years that we lived in Pakistan, it was absolutely unexpected. It was during our summer vacation in 2005. I never imagined that it would be my last summer vacation in Pakistan. I was excited to go back to my country where I would be able to live with my dad and my dad doesn’t have to come once in a month to visit us in Pakistan but I was also panicking.
My dad had his property dealing business in Kabul, Afghanistan. During all those years of the Taliban regime, he used to come once in a month to Pakistan to visit us. He never wanted us to go back to Afghanistan during that time. Once the Taliban regime got shattered into pieces and the new government took over, my dad didn’t want us to live in Pakistan anymore. I spent 13 years of my life in Pakistan. I couldn’t believe that I would no longer stay here. I was thinking about my friends, relatives, and school. I was going through this dilemma when my mom gave me an option. She told me that my dad said if I want to continue my studies in Pakistan I could stay with my uncle. This made me entirely bewildered and I didn’t know what to do and where to go. I had to make my decision and I had to let my dad know about it. I knew whatever decision I took it would change my life entirely. Things would no longer be the same because if I went I would miss things left behind here and if I didn’t then I would miss my parents and siblings. I was in a state of bedlam.
I was about 14 years old and it was really hard for me to take the right decision and I didn’t know how to take it. I made list of important things over here and in Afghanistan. I was going through them and I found that I valued my parents much more than what I had in Pakistan. I couldn’t let go of the feeling that I would be with my dad all the time. I finally made the decision and agreed to move to Kabul. After a tiresome week of packing, we finally got into the car and headed towards Kabul. It was 12 hours of driving on bumpy and unpaved roads.
When the car stopped in front of our new house, I was shocked when I saw the city. It was nothing like I imagined. I thought everything will be normal and it will be something like Pakistan but it was nothing like that. I only heard that it was really beautiful before war but I never remember because I was two years old when we moved out. I barely saw any parks or grass, there weren’t any shopping malls, and it looked like a city annihilated by war. During the first few days I was trying to get used to the place but instead I kept dreaming about Pakistan. I was getting depressed and bored to the highest extent in Afghanistan. My older brother decided to stay in Pakistan and when I used to talk to him on the phone I would get jealous of the fact that he was having a good time there. I had nothing to do rather than just sit inside the house and watch TV. We had some security problems so we were restricted of going out.
The summer vacation had nearly come to an end and I had to find a school. My dad was working with the new government and he found out about an International school. My younger brother and I had to get enrolled at the new school. Its name was International School of Kabul and it was funded by the American Embassy. Schooling in Pakistan was based on the British system and so we had to switch completely from the British to American education system. I had no clue about the new system. Everything was so different that I had lost my way. The British system is more based on theory while the American education system is based on thinking. For the British system you have to memorize everything but for American system you had to think more critically. After several testing I made it to the high school and the administration told me to join the school after a month. I didn’t want to join them. I was still thinking about my old school and I missed my classmates.
Finally, it was the first day of my new school. I didn’t know anyone. I was having trouble with understanding the new system of classes. The books were completely different than what I used to read. I found it very intense and thought I would never make it to the end of the year. During the first week, I made friends with two guys named Yourish and Haseeb. I was trying to adjust there so that I could easily be able to move forward. I had no idea on how to do my homework. I would cry the whole night and question my mom that why she brought me here. Although I knew it was my decision but I would still blame my mom for it. But once a few weeks went by, I got to understand the system and how my studies worked. I engraved the idea into my brain that I had to stay there and I had to graduate from that school.
Then, I started to have control over my studies and had no trouble doing my home work. My friend circle was getting bigger and bigger every day. I got more confident about what I was doing and I received good grades too. I started to like where I was and the life I lived. I believed that being close to your parents was a wonderful feeling and started to having fun in school was a bonus.
Sometimes Human nature forces us not to like where fate takes us because human ignorance makes us think that everything is going downhill but in the end it turns out to be a path to greater good. If I had not gone to that international school it would have been less likely for me to come to the US for higher quality education. I knew this decision would change my life. At the beginning, I thought it was bad but it turned out to be the best decision of my life. This transition gave me the opportunities to explore the world. Haseeb and Yourish are also Ball State students now. Moving to Afghanistan was the best part of my life where I found precious friends and a great life.